April 20, 2009

An Ode to Sushi

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I’m getting a little cranky. The problem is that I am spoiled – no doubt in my mind, no question in my head. I am responsible for this gut-wrenching craving that never seems to go away. After all of the fruitless attempts to satiate this relentless hankering, I am still here wallowing with chopsticks in hand and a furious look on my face, silently judging the chintzy plastic container of americanized and replusivized sushi.

It all started on a cold winters night in the Big Apple. All glammed up and trying to fit in with the pretentious NYC fashionistas, I shivered my way through the sleet and snow into a sushi-lovers paradise. I did not know it then but this was the night that would create an eternal craving that I am sure will persist for the rest of my food-loving life.

Posh. What a funny word. All I can think about is tromping around London with a wanna-be English gentleman who persistently and annoyingly critiqued my manners and painstakingly pointed out every posh person, place, or thing that passed. With a cloth napkin draped politely over my little black dress, I attentively listened as the wine sommelier recited his obscure suggestions. The dining area of Blue Water Grill on Union Square was impeccable and overly posh for my Upstate New York standards but I reveled in it none-the-less.

After secretly salivating over the menu, I ordered my favorite Spicy Tuna Roll and took a ride on the wild side and ordered the coconut shrimp roll (I’m not too found of sweet things that are suppose to be savory). After a round of appetizers consisting of the Bamboo-Steamed Shrimp Dumplings and Shrimp and Lobster Spring rolls (which disappeared in minutes), my suave and sweet talking waiter placed a glorious entrée in front of me. My first bite of the Spicy Tuna Roll was otherworldly. The heavens rained down and blessed me with the freshest and most flavorful tuna to ever exist. With all my might, I pulled my chopsticks away from the delicious tuna and tried to focus on the Coconut Shrimp Roll. It was paired with a sweet coconut milk dip that was surprisingly pleasant. The roll was a nice companion to the savory Tuna Roll but still was overshadowed by the superior. After gorging myself in the perfect fish and shrimp, I made the decision that I wasn’t leaving this restaurant without feeling posh myself. And what is more posh than a succulent dose of dark chocolate fondue? My love affair with dark chocolate is no secret to the world and there is no other food that makes me happier. As I dipped the complementary treats into the blissful molten chocolate, the word posh didn’t seem so absurd anymore. To be posh is to indulge in luxury. And once one indulges in the finest, it is impossibly difficult to experience the mediocre.

And so here I sit. On a college campus in Upstate New York crying over my mediocre sushi packaged with fake plastic grass and a little ball of dull wasabi. The tuna is slightly browned from age and the sushi itself is borderline flavorless. It infuriates me. I was perfectly content before becoming a posh sushi-eater. I’d like to say I wish I still lived in a world of sushi ignorance but knowing that the Blue Water Grill Tuna Roll is out there waiting for me is enough to hold me over. At least for a little while…

To prevent this blog from being the mindless rant that it basically already is, I’ve decided to provide you with a list of seven reasons to eat sushi.

1) It tastes awesome (need I say more?)

2) There are 280 calories in 8 pieces of Wegman’s Brown Rice California Roll. Perfect low calorie meal!!

3) The California Roll is a great way to get your 5-a-day of vegetables and all of the health benefits that come along with it.

4) The fish varieties (I obviously recommend the Spicy Tuna Roll) are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3’s are linked to maintaining a healthy heart, brain function, and metabolism.

5) The seaweed wrapping, otherwise known as nori, is a great source of the micronutrients Zn, Cu, Mn, and Se, all responsible for maintaining cell functions and growth.

6) Sushi is now being prepared with the option of using brown rice instead of white. This provides necessary dietary fibers that aid in digestive health.

7) Its an indulgence that can be good for you. The fresh flavors and simple ingredients make sushi a taste experience. Avoid fried (tempura) varieties and focus on fresh fish and vegetables to optimize the health benefits!